Slow Cooker Hungarian Beef Goulash, the best comfort food no matter the season. It's a melt-in-your-mouth beef stew that is cooked to perfection in a rich tomato, paprika and pepper sauce. A great family meal that everybody will just love.
It might be summer, the season of light cooking and BBQ, but nothing beats a slowly cooked meal that is rich, comforting, and filling, but healthy at the same time. And this goulash is one of those dishes that are the very definition of comfort food; it soothes one's heart like nothing else.
What is goulash?
Goulash is a Hungarian rich beef stew made with paprika, peppers, tomatoes and spices. It is usually made with beef, but other meat can also be used, I tried chicken goulash and it's as nice.
Traditionally, goulash is cooked on the stove top, but cooking it in the slow cooker is convenient if you want to come home to a ready dinner.
Plus, the beef becomes very tender in the slow cooker, and all the ingredients combined make the most amazing stew you can have. It's also super versatile, and you can add any other vegetable you like. Bacon is an usual addition in a traditional goulash, but I omitted it in my recipe.
What makes the Hungarian goulash so unique is the addition of paprika. The Hungarian paprika has a deep red colour, and a sweet flavour, although you can also find spicy and smoked paprika too. It's a way better quality than the regular paprika sold in any supermarket, and, although a bit more expensive, it's so worth it.
- diced beef - or stew beef
- onion - either regular onion or shallots
- chopped tomatoes
- tomato puree
- beef stock (broth)
- bay leaves
- red bell pepper
- orange or yellow bell pepper
- vegetable oil
- plain flour
- salt& black pepper
- dried thyme
- Hungarian paprika
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Dishes made in the slow cooker are usually super easy to prepare, all you need to do is dump everything in, and forget about it for a few good hours. This goulash is as easy, but I like to brown the meat and onions beforehand for extra taste. It's hardly any effort, and the preparation only takes 10-15 minutes.
- pat the beef chunks dry with a kitchen towel, dust with flour, and season with salt and pepper
Alternatively, you can skip the flour now, and mix a tablespoon of cornflour (cornstarch) with water once the beef is tender, and leave the goulash to cook for a further 20 minutes.
- fry the meat in batches so each piece can brown nicely, I fried mine in 2 batches
- transfer the beef to the slow cooker, and fry the onion in the same pan, adding some more oil if necessary
In this way the onion soaks up all the beef flavour, making it extra yummy.
- add the onions, chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, paprika, bay leaves, beef stock (broth), thyme and seasoning
- leave to cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4.5 hours
What to serve with goulash
Goulash is a fantastic dish that can be either enjoyed on its own, or served with some good old carbs. I served it with mashed potatoes, while my daughters liked it with spaghetti.
Pasta of any kind go amazingly well with goulash. In fact, the American version of goulash has pasta added to it.
A nice homemade bread is always a good choice, but rice, bulgur wheat, couscous or noodles are another great ways of serving it, or or some polenta, if you are looking at a lower carb, and gluten free option.
Can you freeze goulash?
Absolutely! If you make a bigger batch, you should definitely freeze whatever is left, it keeps well in a tupperware. To defrost, just pop it in the microwave until bubbling hot.
Other beef recipes made in the slow cooker
If you’ve tried my SLOW COOKER HUNGARIAN BEEF GOULASH or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Slow Cooker Hungarian Beef Goulash
- Slow Cooker
- 700 g diced beef (1.5 lbs)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (13 oz, 400 ml)
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 ½ cups beef stock (broth)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- Pat the diced beef dry with kitchen towels, then dust with flour, and season with a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- Heat up the oil in a pan, add the diced beef (in batches) and fry until brown.
- Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic, and fry in the same pan, adding some more oil if necessary. When golden, transfer to the slow cooker together with the chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, paprika, beef broth, thyme, bay leaves and tomato puree.
- Leave to cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 5 hours. Add more salt and peppper to taste.